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IEM/UEM FOREIGN DISTINGUISHED LECTURE on Artificial Intelligence & Human Transcendence: when technology looks like Religion by Robert Geraci, Manhattan College, Newyork on 13th October 2020

*_IEM-UEM_ in Association with *_SMART Society, USA_ invites all Alumni, Students, Faculty and Staff to register for and attend IEM/UEM *FOREIGN DISTINGUISHED LECTURE*.

*Speaker* : *Robert Geraci, Manhattan College, Newyork

*Date* : 13 th October, 2020

*Time* : 500 PM (IST), 12:30 PM (BST)

*Topic* : “Artificial Intelligence & Human Transcendence: when technology looks like Religion”

*Link* : https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3678671647492164875

*Short Biography*:

Dr. Robert study the ways in which technology is a meaning-making enterprise, a reconfiguration of the world to enchant it and make it purposive. His general interests include religious studies, the history of science, anthropology of science, literature, and modern India.

Dr. Robert past research focused upon the relationship between digital technologies and religion (primarily the Singularity, mind uploading, & sentient machines, but also Shinto and Buddhist ideas as they relate to the development of Japanese robotics). In those studies, he wrote a book that was published by Oxford University Press and then moved on to the study of virtual worlds and video games. That research resulted in a National Science Foundation grant and a new book published by Oxford.

In 2012-13, Dr. Robert was a Visiting Scholar at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, funded by a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Award. Thanks to that research resulted in a book about religion, science, & technology in Bangalore, published by Lexington in 2018. In 2018-19, he returned to India under the auspices of another Fulbright-Nehru award to investigate how transnational Indians identify with Indian culture and heritage through the creation, sale, trade, and discussion of handwoven sarees. In addition to a book co-authored with my wife on that subject he is in the finishing stage of a book about the flow of transhumanist ideas in India and the possibility of thinking about artificial intelligence from a standpoint of global values and collective flourishing.

*Research Grants*
Fulbright-Nehru Academic Excellence Award – Research (2018-19)
American Academy of Religion Collaborative Research Grant — Ayudha Puja in Indian Science (2016)
Fulbright-Nehru Academic Excellence Award – Research (2012-2013)
National Science Foundation EAGER grant — Virtually Meaningful: The Power and Presence of Meaning in Virtual Worlds (2011-2013)
International Society of Science and Religion Library Grant (2011)

Fellow, International Society for Science and Religion
*Visiting Scholar* , National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, India (Dec 2018 – May 2019)
Visiting Scholar, Indian Institute of Science (Dec 2012 – May 2013)
William A. Coolidge Scholar, Association for Religion and Intellectual Life (Summer 2010)
Visiting Researcher, Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute (summer 2007).

*Books* :

2018. Temples of Modernity: Nationalism, Hinduism, and Transhumanism in South Indian Science. Lanham, MD: Lexington
2014. Virtually Sacred: Myth and Meaning in World of Warcraft and Second Life. New York: Oxford University Press.
2010. Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality. New York: Oxford University Press.

2018. with Renny Thomas. “Religious Rites and Scientific Communities: Ayudha Puja as ‘Culture’ at the Indian Institute of Science.” Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 53(1): 95-122.
2018. “Saffron Glasses: Indian Nationalism and the Enchantment of Technology.” In Religion and Technology in India (eds. Knut Jacobsen and Kristina Myrvold). Abingdon: Routledge.
2016. with Nat Recine and Samantha Fox. “Grotesque Gaming: The Monstrous in Online Worlds.” Preternature 5(2): 213-236.
2016. “A Tale of Two Futures: Techno-eschatology in the U.S. and India.” Social Compass 63(3): 319-334.
*All participants will receive a participation certificate after the webinar.*

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